Erdoğan says he can meet Assad 'when right time comes'

Erdoğan has said that although a meeting with Assad is out of the question for now, he could meet with the Syrian president when the time is ready. He also confirmed that low-level meetings are taking place between Ankara and Damascus.

This collage photo shows Erdoğan and Assad.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Oct. 6 he could meet with Syrian counterpart Bashar Al-Assad when the time was right and would not rule that out, reinforcing tentative recent steps to thaw ties between combatants in Syria's war.

"As of now such a meeting is not on the agenda. But I cannot say it is impossible for me to meet with Assad," Erdoğan told a press conference at the Prague meeting of the European Political Community.

"When the right time comes, we can also go to the way of meeting with the President of Syria," he added.

Any normalisation between Ankara and Damascus would reshape the decade-long Syrian war. Turkish backing has been vital to sustaining Syrian rebels in their last major territorial foothold in the northwest, after Assad defeated the insurgency across the rest of the country, aided by Russia and Iran.